Former England skipper Michael Vaughan said that he is “sorry” for the pain Pakistan-born cricketer Azeem Rafiq has gone through following the latter’s racism allegations. Vaughan, who is a former teammate of Rafiq at Yorkshire, had earlier denied the claims. Rafiq alleged that Vaughan told him and two other players of Asian origin that there were “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” before a County game in 2009. The 47-year-old continued to deny the claim, saying that he never made any racist remarks to anyone while playing at Yorkshire.
“I’m sorry for the hurt (Azeem Rafiq) gone through. Time, I don’t think can ever be a healer in the situation that he’s gone through,” he said during an interaction on BBC’s Breakfast podcast.
“But hopefully, time can be a way of us making sure that Yorkshire County Cricket Club never goes through this situation again and never puts themselves in a position of denial that they treated a player so badly.
“It hurts deeply, hurts me that a player has gone through so much and be treated so badly at the club I love,” added Vaughan, who played 82 Tests, 86 ODIs and 2 T20Is for England.
Rafiq’s alleged claims were backed by former Pakistan pacer Rana Naveed and England white-ball specialist Adil Rashid.
Recently, Vaughan’s old tweets went viral on social media, which made his case worse.
In 2010, he tweeted that “Not many English people live in London… I need to learn a new language” and in 2017, following the Manchester Arena bombing during an Ariana Grande concert, Vaughan replied in affirmative to a question whether England all-rounder Moeen Ali should ask Muslims if they are terrorists.
Embarrassed by his old posts, Vaughan apologised to the ones who were offended by his tweets, claiming that he has changed as a person.
Vaughan, who has been working with BBC since his retirement in 2009, was recently dropped from their ‘Test Match Special’ show for the upcoming Ashes in Australia.
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